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Palma de Mallorca

Baleares

Nobody in their right mind would argue how beautiful the island of Mallorca is, how idyllic its coves are and how delicious its ensaimadas are, a pastry typical of Mallorca. So, having said that, we are going to pay attention to its capital: that city that the Arabs called Madina Mayurqa.

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Nobody in their right mind would argue how beautiful the island of Mallorca is, how idyllic its coves are and how delicious its ensaimadas are, a pastry typical of Mallorca. So, having said that, we are going to pay attention to its capital: that city that the Arabs called Madina Mayurqa.

There was a settlement here way before the Romans occupied the island, in 123 BC; it was probably peaceful people but also capable of defending themselves thanks to their mastery with the slingshot. The fearsome Balearic Slingers could throw a stone wherever they wanted, so much so that their services were claimed by the Carthaginian army first and by the Roman troops after.

It was Rome who gave Palma the name which many centuries later it would recover, but in between, there were going to pass by here Barbarians, Byzantines and Muslims. The latter left their mark in the labyrinthine layout of certain areas of the city, in buildings such as the Royal Palace of La Amudaina, the typical Arab baths and in some other ones that today are, basically, underground.

Because, as it is often the case, the city was reconquered by the Christians. In this case, it was on the New Year’s Eve of the year 1229 when Jaime I stole the town from the Islamists. And although it is not clear if he had time to celebrate the new year, it is almost sure that he was already thinking of demolishing the mosque and building a vast temple dedicated to Saint Mary. And why so fast? Because a storm had been about to sink the ships of the monarch, and he had made a promise to the Virgin if they came out alive from the catastrophe.

So, yes, the unique Cathedral-Basilica of Santa María of Palma known as “La Seu” was built. The works lasted centuries, as it often happened, and today you can see here one of the most impressive Gothic temples of Europe and one of the largest rose windows that exist in a cathedral of that stile.

Also Gothic is the fish market and the Bellver Castle, with its circular shape. A true architectonic rarity which you should visit and which is a stone’s throw away. Then from the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation to the peculiar Spanish Town built in the sixties, there are many things worth seeing in this city. It’s all a matter of time, so you know: get up early and go to discover wonders.


Palma de Mallorca

Plaza de la Reina, 2 (Oficina de Turismo)
07015 Palma de Mallorca
(+34) 971 17 39 90

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Tags: Coast, Gothic Art

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